We are heading down the road of ADHD diagnosis with my 6 year old. Both his teacher and his doctor are AMAZING with a capital A. The teacher provides TONS of modifications for my son (he is allowed to play with fidget toys when needed, he can chew gum, he can sit in a chair instead of on the carpet-his most challenging place/time in the day, and more)
His doctor is equally amazing, she sees medication as a last resort (or a down the road resort), but is big on dietary changes, high dose fish oil supplements, and chances to move around his body as he needs to.
I am just now looking around at various books about ADHD and Boys with ADHD in particular. One of the themes I notice in a lot of the books is just how important it really is to keep rules VERY firm, and follow through with consequences IMMEDIATELY when there is an infraction.
My parenting skills up until now have included a LOT of connection, discussion, and choice giving so in a way this goes against my parenting instinct. I'm REALLY curious to hear from other AP moms how you deal with your child's ADHD in terms of discipline. If having stricter rules and immediate consequences is the "only way" I guess i'll have to learn to go along with it. I am worreid a little that it might damage our relationship a little as he always counts on me to listen to his perspective and sometimes things are a little more grey than black and white...know what I mean? But at the same time, if i'm in a way making it harder for him to manage his impulsiveness and hyperactivness then of course I want to change what i'm doing to be mroe supportive.
Any book recommendations that include an attachment parent perspective? THANK YOU!
Would like to hear more about that too. My 9 y.o. boy fits a lot of the criteria for possible ADHD, a few people have mentioned it (not his drs, and he's homeschooled, so it's more family and friends). I have found with him that disciplining, with punishment for unwanted behavior, as well as rewarding desired behavior, doesn't really seem to have much effect with him. He is very bright, possibly gifted, and what seems to work best is approaching him and his behaviors with discussions, such as explaining the effects of his behavior on others (physical, emotional, material, etc), as well as offering alternate ways in which he could have acted/reacted. While this sometimes has no immediate effect, and he seems to act as he's not even listening, he does hear what I'm saying, and before long his behavior and attitude take a drastic change for the better, often accompanied with a sincere apology (without being asked for one). On the other hand, on occasions where I either had no choice (because it was a true safety issue) or because let my angry reaction get the better of me, when I have punished him for unwanted/inappropriate behavior, with time-outs or by taking away privileges, the bad behavior and attitude has escalated, and it seems like I have broken some kind of a trust bond between us. When I later explain why I reacted the way I did, and apologize if it was because I let my own emotions control my behavior, he does turn around and seems to understand. Like I said though, he is very bright, and also very sensitive.
The main reasons why ADHD come to mind with him is his inattentiveness, combined with some impulsiveness in behavior and frequent constant need to move around, instead of concentrating on learning. Being homeschooled does create a lot of flexibility though, which is possibly why it hasn't been hugely problematic.
Anyway, with my kid, dealing with the impulsive behaviors with discipline (as in punishment and reward), even when consistent, hasn't worked, at all. One thing that has worked a little bit is hypnotherapy/meditation CDs especially made for kids. But it hasn't been long enough to really tell how effective it is.
I have two ADHD children and I can't say I really agree with a lot of the mainstream ways of dealing with them. Mainly, I see that most children who also have ODD are parented almost to the letter of expert guidance.
For us what works best is a) me maintaining patience b) strengthening our bond c) lots of logical talking about WHY we have certain rules so they have a desire to do the right thing and d) just lots of repetition. Think of your kids as being 3 years behind developmentally, even if their intellect is at (or above) their current age level. When I think of my kids as 3 years younger, the impulsiveness gets easier to live with, and I try to discipline them with their "adjusted age" in mind. They DO mature, just slower than the typical rate.
When things get out of hand in our home it's because I'm not taking good enough care of MYSELF to be able to deal with their intense personalities. When I get stressed and yell for example for breaking the same rule for the millionth time, the tension escalates and spirals out of control. It's up to ME to maintain calm and zen and hold the space and all that stuff. It's freaking exhausting - but it works better than the artificial guidelines the therapists had us read. (Believe me, I was hoping that stuff WOULD work and make our lives easier... but nope.)
Hi, could you please share some of the titles for these hypnotherapy/meditation CDs? How long have you been using them? Thanks much!
I got 2 CDs off of this website:
I got "relaxed and in control" and "calm and clarity". We're just starting with these 2 really. The one hypno Cd course DS had great success with was a 60 days course (6 different sessions, in specific order) for IBS. He's had tummy issues pretty much all his life (so have I, and I now have Crohn's), and despite the supplements he was (and still is) taking, it was getting worse. He did that course several months ago and his tummy has been so much better!
Like I said, we're very much in the beginning with these CDs mentioned above.
I started a thread essentially asking the same question here: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1399186/unsure-about-whether-therapist-is-meeting-our-needs-re-discipline
Next week I am meeting a new therapist who focuses on connection, so I have hope that it will work out without having to resort to stricter parenting. Also, I will be reading the book "The Explosive Child," as it was recommended highly. The ideas in this thread should help me as well.
Is what you are doing now working? If so, I don't think you need to change. For me, things are not working, so I really need to figure out what to do.